League, players union reach new deal

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NEW YORK: The National Basketball Association and the players union reached a tentative agreement Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) on a new seven-year collective bargaining deal.

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The proposed terms still need to be approved by the owners and players who are expected to vote on the matter in the coming weeks, the NBA said in a statement.

The deal comes just one day before the deadline for either side to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement.

That deadline has now been extended to January 13 to give both sides time to review the new terms, the league said in a statement.

The NBA did not release any details of the tentative agreement.

But American sports broadcaster ESPN reported that it includes an opt-out clause after six years.

One key point would see the players keeping a share of between 49 and 51 percent of basketball related income (BRI), ESPN said.

BRI is expected to rise from $4 billion to $8 billion in the next few years because of TV contracts.

Players will also be eligible for significant pay raises, including maximum salaried players.

Players who transfer between their parent teams and lower level Development League teams will receive “two-way” contracts.

The regular season will start earlier and the pre-season will be shortened to no more than six exhibition games.

This will eliminate some back-to-back regular-season games and stretches in which teams play four games in five nights.

Brooklyn Nets centre Brook Lopez cheered the agreement.

“That’s good to hear,” he said. “I missed plenty of time for injury, and then we were locked out a little bit five years ago. I cherish my time on the basketball court, so as long as it’s a good deal, fair to both sides, fair to the players, I’m down with it.

“I love being on the court.”

However Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green wasn’t so thrilled.

“Deal.?.?. Smh. Stand for something… or fall for anything. One day we will get it right…. maybe,” he wrote on Twitter, using an acronym that means “shaking my head.”

AFP

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